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The youth football tournament Mediterranean International Cup (MIC) in Girona had a strong FC Barcelona presence in the finals. The blaugranas played in the U13, U16 and U19 finals and the U14A side were crowned champions of their age group while the other two academy teams were unlucky to lose following two very close penalty shootouts.
U14A v CELTA DE VIGO
First half secures victory (3-1)
Carles Martínez’s team were the only Barça team to win at the MIC tournament thanks to a fantastic performance in the final against Celta de Vigo. After beating Inter Milan in the semi-finals, the blaugranas defeated the Galician side thanks to an impressive first half in which all four goals in the match were scored. Farnós scored Barça’s opener in the first minute but Celta didn’t give up and they levelled the scores through a lovely Hugo Sotelo goal in the eleventh minute. The Catalans responded quickly with Mamadou Bah re-establishing the lead and Xavi Simon opening up a two-goal advantage before the break. Xavi Simon was named the tournament’s MVP and his strike proved to be the winner.
U19B v VILLAREAL
Defeated following never-ending penalty shootout (0-0, 13-14 in the shootout)
Having knocked Sant Andreu out at the quarter final stage with a 1-0 victory and Athletic Bilbao in the semi-finals with a 4-1 win, Qique Alvárez’s side weren’t able to beat penalty specialists Villareal in the final. The opposition had made it into the final thanks to two penalty shootouts and following a tight match they were able to do it once again. The penalty shootout was epic and both teams demonstrated remarkable composure with 32 penalties taken and only five missed. Unfortunately, Barça faltered and the U19B side had to settle for second place. On the plus side, Riqui Puig was named as the U19 MVP.
U16A v ESPANYOL
Penalties condemn an impressive Barça to defeat (1-1, 5-6 in the shootout)
Franc Artiga’s team were unfortunate to lose their final having played better than Español and dominated throughout the match. The game was close in the first half and Español opened the scoring from a textbook counter attack finished off by Arnau Puigmal. In the second half, the blaugranas played very well as they looked to turn the match around. Ivan Bravo scored a great goal from an excellent Adrià Bernabé assist but Barça were unable to get a second and the match went to penalties. In the shootout, Español’s keeper produced the all-important save which secured his side the trophy.
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